Some days, I find it hard to intentionally pray for my children.
Most days, the most oft-heard prayer from my lips is “Lord, have mercy.”
Lord, have mercy–because the crying has already begun.
Lord, have mercy–because the messes are driving me crazy.
Lord, have mercy–I haven’t even had a sip of coffee yet.
Lord, have mercy–this child…
Can you relate?
Then I think of the saints, the saint-moms, who didn’t eat their young or sell them to gypsies (I kid!), and I wonder what they must have done right.
Saint Monica wept for her son.
It is said that her tears, her heartfelt, persistent, pleading prayers with God on account of Augustine’s lack of faith, are what brought Augustine back to the faith. Saint Ambrose, a local bishop, told Monica, “Surely the son of so many tears will not perish.”
Of course now we know that Augustine is SAINT Augustine, Doctor of the Church. Obviously Saint Monica’s prayers helped her son.
So are the words of Scripture. Over and over this week, Saint Paul’s words make me think of loving, teaching, and praying for our children. If Saint Paul had been a father, I’m sure these words would have been said just as much as a reminder for himself as for me.
He said, “. . . be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient;. . . encourage through all patience and teaching.” (2 Timothy 4:2)
In Ephesians, he writes about himself in prayer for the faithful, and I find it a beautiful example of how to be a parent in prayer.
“I kneel before the Father . . . that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you . . . may have strength to comprehend . . . and the know the love of Christ. . .” (Ephesians 3:14-19).
Wow. What an incredible prayer. I am still soaking in these messages from Saint Paul this week (these are from daily Mass readings in the past week!). Soaking up the messages, and learning to pray persistently for my children to know Christ, and learning to encourage them in their faith (and all things–math and history aren’t easy subjects!) patiently!
Saint Monica, pray for us.
Saint John Paul II (our family patron, and whose feast is October 22 the day I’m finally publishing this post), pray for us.
Blessed Mother Mary, ora pro nobis.